The executive order issued by US President Donald Trump has banned many categories of immigration to the US for 60 days, barring H1-B professional visa holders. The ban does not applicable to those who have already received their green cards or permanent resident status and to holders of temporary visas but find themselves abroad.
The ban distinguishes between those seeking to immigrate to the US permanently, who are covered by the ban, and those coming on temporary visas.
Among the exempt categories of those immigrating are healthcare workers and those involved in COVID-19 and other medical research along with their families
The order also exempts spouses and minor children of US citizens and members of the armed forces, and those required for law enforcement purposes who are in the immigration pipeline.
Holders of work visas likeH1-B for professionals and H2-A for farm and other labour are exempted because they were not considered immigrants as their visas are for a limited period and do not confer a permanent resident status. Indians are the single largest group of H1-B visa holders accounting for nearly 74 percent of all such visas.
In addition to American firms, several Indian technology companies rely on the H1-B work force to operate in the US.
The ban also does not cover L-1 visas for employees of foreign companies transferred to work in the US. Investors, including those in the category eligible for green cards are also exempted.